Vis a Highly Efficient Vim Like Text Editor

23.09.2014 at 16:35

Inspired by the excellent Project Oberon I recently wrote a highly efficient, vim like text editor, called vis. Its core features include:

Check out the README and the resulting discussion on the suckless mailing list.

Designing a text editor presents some interesting challenges and design decision.

Most importantly it is a lot of fun.

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Abduco + DVTM a Lightweight Alternative to Tmux and Screen

05.07.2014 at 10:57

One of the most frequently requested features of dvtm, my tiling window manager for the console, has always been session support as provided by GNU screen and tmux. However these are two distinct features: window and session management shouldn't be intermingled, that is why I have recently been developing abduco a tool for session {at,de}tach support. In combination with dvtm it strives to be a more lightweight alternative to tmux and screen.


Perform the following steps to get it up and running, install dvtm

tar xzf dvtm-0.12.tar.gz
make && sudo make install

Install abduco

tar xzf abduco-0.1.tar.gz
make && sudo make install

Launch a new session

abduco -c session-name

create a few windows with Ctrl+g c then detach from your session by means of Ctrl+ list all available sessions by executing abduco without any arguments. Reattach to the session with

abduco -a session-name

Hope these tools are useful for some of you, at least for me they proved to be a more lightweight alternative to tmux and screen.

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Pong -- Status Update

08.10.2010 at 18:51

Ok long time no post, the past few months were rather busy. In retrospect it turns out that it wouldn't have been necessary to spend that much time studying. Anyway I passed my exams quite comfortably.

Now I'm back working at a MS centered company till November. By then I will have to go to military service for basic training. Superfluous to say that I'm rather skeptical and think it's a pointless and wasteful exercise. Anyway because of this obligatory gap year, I will 'lose' yet another year before I can start my computer science studies at ETHZ.

Random project status updates

I finally had some time to hack on my projects, released a new version of ciopfs which fixes some bugs. I was positively surprised (or scared?) that apparently perforce links to ciopfs in one of their knowledge base articles.

Furthermore, I gave my Freerunner some long deserved attention and released a new version of qi-bootmenu. Sent some trivial patches upstream to the enlightenment folks and lost some more hairs while dealing with the mystery that is called configure scripts.

There is also a new dvtm release, which brings some usability improvements.

Random rumblings

Stumbled over this hilarious diagram which shows who is suing whom in the telecom business. This just perfectly illustrates how stupid the whole patent system has become, I can only hope that this is the beginning of a self-destruction process. Unfortunately what will likely happen is that the big players settle with patent cross licensing deals instead.

Some more links which I found interesting/useful and relate to my last programming activities (albeit work related ones):


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Boot Time Optimizations - Tslib Static Modules

05.01.2010 at 10:24

I am trying to speed up the boot process of my little initramfs.

It currently takes about 8.5 seconds from power to the graphical menu. I tested the different kernel compression methods with a patch from Albin Tonnerre which should hopefully end up in 2.6.33. My mesurements show that an LZO compressed kernel saves about 0.5-0.6 seconds.

In kernel land I need to read up on a few things like async/deferred initcalls.

On the user space front I tried to link my boot application statically which should have 2 advantages.

One thing I need to try out is to link everything statically expect libc which is required by other stuff (kexec, dropbear, busybox). I *think* this should work with a few linker flags but I am not yet sure how it behaves in practice.

-Wl,-Bstatic -leina -lts ... -Wl,-Bdynamic -lc

Fortunately the modular design of the EFL which dlopen(3) modules at runtime also has an option to build said modules statically which means the code will be embedded into the main shared object. This can be enabled at compile time with

./configure --enable-$FOO=static

Unfortunately the same is not possible with stock tslib plugins which is why I wrote a patch to support it.

On a somewhat unrelated note the only thing I hate more than mailing list which are configured for member only posts are mailing lists with slow moderation for non member posts. Grumble.


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Qi Bootmenu Progress

28.11.2009 at 18:02

I now have a working initramfs generated by these build scripts that launches a bootmenu application which scans the available partitions and presents a list of bootable systems which can be loaded via kexec.

In the process I added uImage support to kexec which means it should work with the current distros out there like SHR which provide uImages for their kernels.

The kernel I am using is based on Lars om-gta02-2.6.31 branch with a few patches to show an openmoko boot logo and my printk verbosity patchset.

The next thing I'm going to do is patching Qi to load an alternative kernel upon AUX press instead of just skipping one.

Then I need to optimize the whole thing for speed. It currently takes between 12-14 seconds (depending on whether I also scan the flash partition, mounting a jffs2 filesystem is slow because of the initial inode scanning, I should probably also test with ubifs). This is with the debug board attached, I don't know whether that makes a difference. The whole uncompressed initramfs content is about 3.4 MB (this is with network support + dropbear). I should try to remove more unneeded stuff and maybe link a few things statically. The kernel can probably also be optimized for speed. Using devtmpfs from 2.6.32 for example would make busybox's mdev obsolete (I don't want to use a static /dev).

Anyway the basic functionality is there and I should probably provide a pre built kernel which contains the initramfs for users to test. And gta01 support is also a TODO item of course. My progress can be followed on the distro-devel list.


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